You are on this page probably because you wanted to find out if you can get rid of type-2 diabetes. The simple answer to this question is no, you cannot get rid of type-2diabetes. There is simply no known cure to type-2 diabetes. There is no known treatment that will eliminate the disease completely. However, the disease can be controlled and in some cases, it can go into remission. When it goes on remission, diabetes is technically still present, even though your body will not show any symptoms of diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to as diabetes), is a condition that affects how your body uses glucose (blood sugar). In diabetes mellitus, your body cannot use glucose normally. Glucose is an important and main source of energy for your body cells. The cells are the units that make up your muscles and tissues.
The level of glucose in the body is usually controlled by a hormone named insulin. Insulin is produced by your pancreas. Insulin transports glucose from the blood into your cells so that it can be used for energy. Without enough insulin in the body, or if the body cannot use it effectively, glucose cannot be transported into the cells and remains in the blood. This will result in elevated blood glucose levels hence diabetes mellitus.
When blood glucose levels remain elevated for long periods in the blood stream, your nerves, eyes, kidneys and many other body organs can be damaged.
There are different type of diabetes being:
Type 1 diabetes
Also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, this type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas (an organ that makes insulin). Without insulin in the body, the blood glucose levels remain elevated.
Type 2 diabetes
This type of diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant (body cells do not react) to insulin or the body is unable to produce enough insulin. As a result, the level of glucose in the blood rises.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes prior to pregnancy. In this type of diabetes, the placenta produces hormones that block insulin resulting in high blood sugar levels.
More about type 2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a very common type of diabetes mellitus. It occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin or the cells in the muscles, fat and liver become resistant to this insulin. People with type-2 diabetes are said to be insulin resistant. As a result, the cells cannot take up enough insulin and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) ensues.
When blood glucose levels become elevated for longer periods, blood vessels and other organs like the nerves, eyes, and kidneys are damaged. That is why doctors always stress the issue of blood glucose control.
Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
Even though there is no known cure for type-2 diabetes, there is growing evidence that it can be controlled or ‘reversed’. This does not mean that the diabetes is completely cured but on remission. Remission is when your blood sugar levels return to you non-diabetes or pre-diabetes range without medication. Some people are able to achieve this with diet, exercise and weight loss. It is always good to remember that though the disease is under control, it is still technically present.
Types of remission
This is when the blood glucose level is lower than that of a diabetic (but not completely normal) for a year without medication.
You are considered to be in complete remission when your blood glucose level has been normal for at least a year.
Prolonged remission is when your blood glucose levels have been on the normal ranges for at least 5 years.
Remission is most likely when type-2 diabetes has been detected early and managed on time. Many people who achieve remission do so after losing a significant amount of weight. This is believed to be because the insulin resistance associated with diabetes is also associated with weight gain.
It is important to note that even when you have been on remission for many years, you are still not considered to be ‘cured’ as the disease has a potential of coming back. The key to maintaining this remission is to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and a healthy diet.
Controlling your type 2 diabetes
Often times choosing a healthy lifestyle is enough to control your blood glucose levels. Below are some useful ways to manage your diabetes hence control it well.
Keep your diet in check
Carbohydrates will raise your blood glucose levels more quickly and higher than other food. Again the type of carbs you put in your mouth do matter. To read more about diet in diabetes, then click here.
Keep your weight in check
Maintain BMI of below 25
Exercise has proven over and over, to be able to lower your blood sugar levels. Exercise also helps you maintain a desired body weight. Read more about the link between exercise and diabetes by following this link.
Stress is known to stimulate the release of certain hormones that cause elevated blood glucose levels.
Check your HbA1c
Hba1c in your blood is directly related to the average concentration of glucose in your blood. It gives you an overall picture of your sugar levels for the past 2-3 months. It is checked at least 6 monthly for those with diabetes and can also be used as a screening tool for diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Take your medication well
It is always important to work with your doctor and adhere well to your prescribed medicines for better control of your blood glucose levels
Take home message
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic lifelong condition with no permanent cure. It however can be prevented or managed through lifestyle modification. Lifestyle modification includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.